Why do birds suddenly appear?

Mitt Romney joins the global anti-Big-Bird jihad:

During a campaign event in Clinton, Iowa Wednesday, the former Massachusetts governor told supporters that there were a number of things he would do to balance the budget.

“One is to stop certain programs,” he explained. “Stop them. Close them. Turn them off. Even some you like.”

“You might say, ‘I like the National Endowment for the Arts.’ I do,” he continued. “I like PBS. We subsidize PBS. Look, I’m going to stop that. I’m going to say that PBS is going to have to have advertisement.”

“We’re not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements, alright?”

Another chapter in conservatives’ principled, Burkean campaign to end federal funding for NPR and PBS.

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103 replies
  1. 1
    Mike Goetz says:

    Mitt Romney is a walking advertisement for Summer’s Eve.

  2. 2
    Mack Lyons says:

    Privatizing PBS and selling it off to the highest bidder would really get these goons’ pricks up, wouldn’t it?

  3. 3
    TooManyJens says:

    “We’re not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements, alright?”

    Translation: “I’ve got donors who are pissed that they don’t have 24/7 access to the minds of the next generation of consumers.”

  4. 4
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Willard is brilliant!

    I guess this is why he didn’t go into marketing.

  5. 5
    Hill Dweller says:

    Charlie Pierce has been absolutely destroying Willard the last two days. Here is a taste from yesterday’s pummeling:

    He is really the only true class warrior in the race. He’s counting on prejudice and ignorance because he is running in the Republican primaries and that’s the coin of the realm. But he’s also counting on the desperate dreams of desperate people who want to believe that there is a big bag of money out there that’s going to the Wrong People, and that, if someone would only re-direct it, their lives would be better. Well, there is a big bag of money out there, and it is indeed going to the Wrong People, and those would be the people in whose company Willard Romney has spent his entire, cosseted, entitled existence. He has embarked on a divisive campaign of misdirection, hoping against hope that nobody notices that he mortgaged himself to his ambition on an adjustable rate, and that he’s underwater on his soul.

  6. 6
    Mark S. says:

    Mitt really has his finger on the pulse of the nation.

  7. 7
    lamh35 says:

    I know this is a stupid question, but my gawd if this is the type of coverage of Mittens that we can expect from the village (all fluff and fellatio of Mitt), I may pull my hair out. I guess the campaign will have to continue to go around the MSM.

  8. 8
    dww44 says:

    @Mike Goetz: I really like this. Subtlety is thy middle name.

  9. 9
    Hill Dweller says:

    @lamh35: The media wants the ad revenue, so they’ll do their best to engineer a horse race.

  10. 10
    Raven says:

    Didn’t this gem endorse Mitt?

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two South Carolina legislators say state employees shouldn’t have to answer the phone with Gov. Nikki Haley’s mandated cheery greeting unless it’s truly a great day in South Carolina.

    Democratic state Reps. John Richard King and Wendell Gilliard have filed legislation saying no state agency can force its employees to answer the phone with, “It’s a great day in South Carolina,” as long as state unemployment is 5 percent or higher. Their bill also would prohibit requiring the greeting as long as all South Carolinians don’t have health insurance.

  11. 11
    slag says:

    “We’re not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements, alright?”

    Only if it’s advertisements for Coors Light, Marlboros, and condoms. We have our family values to protect!

  12. 12
    Jack says:

    Kill “Big Bird” but not the Osprey, which is a USMC dog.

    Nor, of course, curtail $3 billion per year in aid to a foreign government – Israel.

  13. 13
    gbear says:

    @Hill Dweller: Yes, that paragraph took my breath away too when I read it last night. It should be on continuous playback on MPR and PBS.

  14. 14
    RSA says:

    We subsidize PBS. Look, I’m going to stop that.

    Because, clearly, a program that costs every American about $1.40 per year is bankrupting our country. (Annual federal funding for CPB is about $425 million.)

    Sesame Street is something of a cultural touchstone for Americans. Wikipedia cites a survey showing that 95% of all American kids have seen a show by the time they were three years old. It’s a common experience for most of us. I can see why Romney wouldn’t like that.

  15. 15
    GregB says:

    @Mike Goetz:

    Summers Eve? He’s soaking in it!

  16. 16
    Cacti says:

    Mitt Romney’s plan for an “opportunity society”…

    Cut Medicaid

    Cut Food Stamps

    Increase military spending

  17. 17
    Mark S. says:

    @RSA:

    It’s a common experience for most of us. I can see why Romney wouldn’t like that.

    Mitt didn’t have a childhood like most of us did. That’s because he is a robot.

  18. 18

    You know, I’ve heard PBS/NPR officials say, just take away the federal funding, it’s not worth the fucking hassle. They get so little as it is.

    But even if they did, it would be like abortion funding: the wingnuts would continue to harangue against non-existent taxpayer dollars going toward this hated thing. Yeah, beat that dead horse! Beat it!

    We need to take a different approach. Just capitulating on everything doesn’t seem to be working. Amazing, I know.

  19. 19
    Mnemosyne says:

    If Mittster thinks they’re not already showing ads on PBS, he needs to flip the TV on every once in a while. The only difference is that they group the ads at the beginning and end of the program rather than interrupting the program.

  20. 20
    Phylllis says:

    @Raven: My friends who still work at Social Services, which is a cabinet agency, refuse to answer the phone with her mandated greeting. They have enough sense to know that folks who have dealings with DSS aren’t feeling ‘the great day’ bs.

  21. 21
    RandyH says:

    Sesame Street is already sponsored by letters and numbers every day. So now it’s sugar cereals and toys? Great.

  22. 22
    Cassidy says:

    @lamh35: DOn’t watch the Wolf Blitzer interview then, unless you’re planning on going bald.

  23. 23
    carpeduum says:

    The human weather vane speaks.

  24. 24
    Waynski says:

    @Mike Goetz: FTW. How long have you been waiting to play that card?

  25. 25
    PeakVT says:

    @Jack: Big Bird is not going to bring on the rapture, is he? Get your priorities straight.

  26. 26
    merrinc says:

    Mitt’s just serving up some red meat for the base. My rightie friends despise NPR/PBS and no amount of facts, such as the numbers cited by RSA upthread, will change their minds. My moderate friends will think this is a perfectly good compromise. Yes, we are fucked as a nation. But I repeat myself.

  27. 27
    Marc says:

    Hey, that 0.01% of the budget is the only thing that’s keeping us from ending the deficit.

  28. 28
    handsmile says:

    DougJ:

    I can just about tolerate the Lyle Lovett references in your thread titles, but for the love of G*d man, the Carpenters??

    Now I’ve got that bilge swirling around in my head, you rat bastid you.

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    leave Elmo alone

  30. 30
    DougJ says:

    @handsmile:

    I think the Carpenters are underrated.

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I say we lock him in a room with Animal and some drumsticks for a couple of hours.

  32. 32
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @handsmile: Actually I went over to youtube to watch the vid, I like that particular ear worm.

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @handsmile:

    On the day that you were born the angels got together.

  34. 34
    Hill Dweller says:

    The media hammered Newt, Perry, Paul, etc. because they got permission. No one was going to push back, so the media whores were free to commit journalism.

    Conversely, Romney is a made man right now. He won’t be subjected to any real scrutiny from the media nor his primary opponents.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @DougJ: Seriously? What’s your take on Tony Orlando and Dawn?

  36. 36
    wasabi gasp says:

    Even in print, Mitt has a heavy spastic accent.

  37. 37
    MacKenna says:

    How clever of him to say “even some you like” and then name PBS which is not liked by any Republican voter.

    Shutting down PBS for Republicans is not about the money, as the cost is relatively insignificant, it’s about ending a media source that isn’t favourable to the teabag mindset.

  38. 38
    lamh35 says:

    So breaking news? Michelle Bachmann Iowa Co-chair leaves her campaign and joins Ron Paul’s campaign.

    http://thepage.time.com/2011/1.....-arenapage

    I guess this Paul train is rolling along. No way Paul beats Romney right?

  39. 39
    Arundel says:

    @Hill Dweller- Along with his marvellous smackdowns of Willard, I love Charley Pierce for introducing me to the Irish word, “spalpeen”. Which once meant “day laborer” but is more used as “rascal, cretin, jerk”. Great stuff, oh I love that Pierce.

    As for Romney’s promise to subject young children everywhere to soul-killing corporate advertising on “Sesame Street”- these people are barbarians. PBS costs next-to-nothing in the grand scheme of things, but the barbarians want it wrecked, because they are uncultured anti-civic cretins and jerks. Spalpeens of the worst order.

  40. 40
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Mike Goetz: Actually, he’s a walking ad for the Summer’s Eve precursor, Listerine. Which is to say, he’s often not even topical. Or current, because he hasn’t held his finger to the breeze yet.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’ll get even with you for that. It wasn’t stuck in my head before but that did it. I had to go listen to The Cramps to get rid of it.

  42. 42
    RandyH says:

    @rikyrah:

    leave Elmo alone

    It’s Bert and Ernie that they really have a problem with. You know, the Homosexual Agenda!

  43. 43
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    This episode of “Mittens” is brought to you by the letters F and U, and the number 2.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @lamh35:

    No way Paul beats Romney right?

    I think he can win Iowa. In fact, I hope he does, because it will force the GOP to spend more of their money beating him back.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RandyH: Isn’t Bert Ernie’s uncle?

  46. 46
    handsmile says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: (#33)

    Those would be fallen angels caterwauling. (cf. Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book 2)

    And see what you’ve done to that nice Mr. Omnibus!

  47. 47
    Raven says:

    @Baud: The douchebag Bachman co-state chair just jumped to Paul.

    rachel

  48. 48
    Waynski says:

    @DougJ: This. I wish I were a Carpenter.

  49. 49
    Mike in NC says:

    Why does Willard fear Big Bird? Superior debating skills?

  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Was that before or after the angels sprinkled moon dust in your hair?

    /ducks

  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Oh noez, the homosexual incest agenda!

  52. 52
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Okay, why . . . ?

    Oh yeah, I misspelled insect.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: You are a very bad person.

  54. 54
    Raven says:

    It’s a Burt Bacharach song and Richard Chamberlain and Dionne Warwick recorded it before the C’s. Actually it was the b side of the great “Here I Am” by Dionne. (From “What’s New Pussycat”.

  55. 55
    RandyH says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Isn’t Bert Ernie’s uncle?

    Not to my knowledge. They’re “Best Friends.” But in other, more accepting, countries (like Holland, where I heard this and they are extremely popular characters,) they are known as the gay couple. And this was like 10 years ago. The Ernie and Bert dolls were WAY more popular toys than even Elmo at the toy store I visited, which prompted me to ask.

  56. 56
    Texas Dem says:

    Couldn’t PBS/NPR survive without the federal funds? My understanding (and correct me if I’m wrong) is that the overwhelming majority of their money comes from listener support, not the federal government. So why not just drop the very limited federal funds and avoid this problem? Is a small income stream from the feds really worth all of the bs they have to go through in order to get it?

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    Unfortunately, PBS is not what it once was. KCET, the public tv station in Los Angeles, the second largest market, split from PBS, in part because a large grant from BP greatly increased its dues, and the management decided to end their relationship. Programs that used to be on PBS have been snapped up by cable, and more people are watching similar programs on BBC America.

    Lower income people were more affected by the transition to digital broadcasting, and there are proposals to take bandwidth from the digital broadcast market so that upper income hipsters can have more broadband access.

    So Mitt is a tool, but much of this outrage over the fate of PBS rings pretty hollow. People like the idea of federal funding for tv even if they don’t watch PBS .

  58. 58
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Texas Dem: Because the BS won’t stop. Facts won’t shut up the Republican Party.

  59. 59

    Just read that Michele Bachmann’s Iowa State chair has endorsed Ron Paul.

    Bwaaahaaahaaaa…

  60. 60

    @Texas Dem:

    Yes they can do without federal funds but it won’t matter because of the reasons I stated in my 8:32 comment

  61. 61
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I was a teen in the 70s and I used to HATE the Carpenters, but as the years passed, I couldn’t deny the beauty of Karen Carpenter’s voice any more. Here, just try this.

    And if you need a chaser, here’s some Mark E. Smith and The Fall for you, from one of their many Peel Sessions.

  62. 62
    Comrade Mary says:

    I like this one, too. (But, as one of the perceptive YouTube commenters warns, “I think Mark goes out of tune at one point.”)

  63. 63
    JGabriel says:

    Mitt Romney:

    “We’re not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements, alright?”

    No. No, it’s not all right, you fucking jackass. Can’t we get one single fucking place where kids can watch TV that is actually educational without commercials instead of something that’s trying to sell toys, candy, and candy cereal to them?

    Mitt Romney, asshole.

    .

  64. 64
    Mike says:

    Chuck E. Cheese’s commercial that runs on PBS kid’s shows ALL THE FUCKING TIME for the past five years at least:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpXyy433A_4

  65. 65
    Mike says:

    Shorter Willard Romney:
    “Mr. Rogers needs some skin in the game”.

  66. 66
    MikeJ says:

    @DougJ:

    I think the Carpenters are underrated.

    I prefer Sonic Youth’s Superstar to the Carpenters, but I would mostly agree with this.

  67. 67
    Wilson Heath says:

    The Onion can see eight months into the future. Not the first time this has been noted, I’m sure.

  68. 68
    JGabriel says:

    @DougJ:

    I think the Carpenters are underrated.

    For you, DougJ:

    Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
    1987
    Dir.: Todd Haynes
    Starring: A bunch of Barbie and Ken dolls.

    Banned by Richard Carpenter, who refused to give his consent — though it seems likely that Mattel would have sued to prevent it’s release if Carpenter hadn’t.

    And, yes, it argues, among other things, that the Carpenters, or at least Karen anyway, are underrated.

    .

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Comrade Mary: The only good Carpenter’s song, as far as I am concerned. Okay, The Fall tunes are “interesting.”

  70. 70
    The Other Chuck says:

    Greatest country on earth they say. But can’t afford to spend a dime on anything like art. Can’t seem to afford anything, actually. This is the message they want to last through the ages: “No we can’t.”

  71. 71
    JGabriel says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Greatest country on earth they say. But can’t afford to spend a dime on anything like art. Can’t seem to afford anything, actually.

    We’re the richest country on Earth. Whenever politicians say we can’t afford something, they’re lying. If we don’t have the money, it’s because we’re not demanding high enough taxes from the most financially well-off. Period.

    .

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Other Chuck: You know, this is the thing that really pisses me off about these assholes. We live in the richest country that has ever existed and we “can’t afford’ simple decency. Assholes.

  73. 73

    i would think condom ads would be a natural for children’s programming. plan b? nuca rings or depro, whatever…but hey why stop there, advertising is all about selling people a product ,service, or idea that replaces what they never had, never will be, or will never be again, right?

    why not put all the stuff on pbs that can’t be advertized elsewhere, the advertisers get an outlet, and its guaranteed revenue to pbs at a higher price than their ratings would command. no pledge drives! win-win-win.

    the advertisers win
    the pbs wins big, you know they hate begging.
    the public wins because lets be honest cigarettes cigars, bongs , sex toys, guns, prawn, all the stuff that is banned or limited elsewhere is still less annoying than pledge drives. and by restricting the ads to things banned elsewhere, you give pbs exclusivity, so its not that they are in the pure ratings game, though they might attract viewers just for the ads, probably the very sinners who could use some classing up. republicans can’t complain, because who would they be kidding right? the advertisers would love associating their brand with pbs.

    upstairs/downstairs its a breath mint and a lube!

  74. 74
    Lockewasright says:

    I have several wildly inappropriate mutations of the lyrics to this song that I sing to my wife!

    She is a very patient woman.

  75. 75
    amk says:

    And yet I read somewhere today that walmart moms are worried that the usuper will kill them all and are looking for a repub savior.

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Greatest country on earth they say. But can’t afford to spend a dime on anything like art

    This is America. We run away from art as soon as we can, look down on it, dismiss it as pretentious and cling to our popcorn movies and “indie rock.”

    Everybody here knows the Carpenters. There might be a couple who know Charpentier.

    And yes, a lot of indie rock is art.

  77. 77
    Triassic Sands says:

    I’ve got news for Romney — PBS already has advertisements. Over the years the simple statements that so-and-so helped fund programming have been “enhanced” with corporate slogans and other language that is clearly advertising. No, it’s not twenty plus minutes per hour and it’s very restrained by comparison with the mindless garbage that make up network ads, but it is advertising.

    @JGabriel:

    If we don’t have the money, it’s because we’re not demanding high enough taxes from the most financially well-off. Period.

    I agree with the need to tax the wealthy more, but I disagree with the “Period.” It’s also about priorities. We may be rich, but we don’t have unlimited resources, so we do need to make choices. And we’re not very good at that. We have ultra-powerful lobbies pushing us to spend waste money on an endless array of defense projects, many of which make us weaker, not safer, by squandering money that could be used in much more productive ways. And waste is not limited to the Defense Department. Once you open the “subsidies” can-o’-worms there’s lots of money that could be redirected.

    Unfortunately, our elected officials thrive on our current system and would see some serious cut backs if we re-ordered our priorities. Congress has become the problem, but it’s also the constitutionally designated source of the cure — so, we’re screwed.

  78. 78
    RandyH says:

    From what I can remember, the War on PBS started in the mid-1990’s during the Clinton/Gingrich years when PBS DARED to fund and release the original “Tales of the City” miniseries. If you haven’t seen it, you MUST (Netflix has it, I’m sure.) It took place in San Francisco circa 1976 and featured Marianne Singleton, innocent white girl from Ohio moving to this wild city of gypsies and faggots who all smoke pot and the gay people actually have sex and stuff and don’t even feel the need to live in the closet! Oh, Lord, what are we going to do? What if the children get ideas from this? The follow-up 2 miniseries were done by Showtime, I think – after the funding was slashed and the future of PBS was put in jeopardy. But the original was truly a work of art.

    It was such a shocker that the Scarboroughs and the Gingriches of the time decided that only corporate-commercially-funded art should be allowed to exist. But the thing was, no one other than PBS and BBC (or was it British Channel 4) working together could manage to pull off such a fantastic series. NO commercial sponsor had the balls to do it.

    THAT is why we NEED PBS.

    Now we have David Koch as the main sponsor of a science show – Nova. Ever heard of that show? I wonder if they will ever investigate Climate Change with him as their primary sponsor? It may as well be sponsored by the “Clean Coal” industry like everything on CNN is.

  79. 79
    Hob says:

    @Brachiator:

    Lower income people were more affected by the transition to digital broadcasting, and there are proposals to take bandwidth from the digital broadcast market so that upper income hipsters can have more broadband access.

    I’m not saying those two things aren’t true, but what do they have to do with whether it’s bad to defund PBS? I’m not following your train of thought.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @RandyH: Tales of the City was originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle and later segments in the Examiner. HBO optioned the book, but passed on the project, which was ultimately produced by UK’s Channel 4. A follow up was shown on Showtime. PBS probably had to pay something to show it, but was not deeply involved in the production.

  81. 81
    jcricket says:

    @RandyH: Also don’t forget the Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War failed to blame the north and the negroes for their aggression against the South.

  82. 82
    Brachiator says:

    @Hob:

    I’m not saying those two things aren’t true, but what do they have to do with whether it’s bad to defund PBS? I’m not following your train of thought.

    When KCET dropped its affiliation with PBS, people shrugged. And this is in the second largest TV market. One of the area stations that took up the slack is showing an old Victor Borge special, followed by a Frontline special on the funeral industry. Hard hitting, innovative stuff.

    The cream of what PBS used to do has been taken by other cable channels.

    My point is that a lot of folk who think PBS is important don’t watch it. Nor do they support the arts in general. And lower income people may be priced out of the cable market and may soon be kicked out of digital broadcast as more people demand broadband access.

    So, with fewer programs and less accessibility, who is PBS as currently configured serving? People may rightly attack the GOP for wanting to kill it, and yet you ignore the fact that it appears to be dying through a combination of bad management practices and viewer apathy.

  83. 83
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Brachiator: The show (of the first book in the series) was actually co-produced by Channel 4, KQED San Francisco, and the PBS show American Playhouse.

  84. 84
    Alex says:

    I watched the video, and the most WTF thing about it was Romney warning darkly about the United States descending into a Greece or Italy financial crisis.

    Did all my dollars become Euros when I wasn’t watching?

  85. 85
    Dream On says:

    “We’re not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements, alright?”

    I believe firmly that this hilarious quote should become it’s own tagline. It’s a bit long, but it’s gold.

  86. 86
    jheartney says:

    @RandyH:

    Now we have David Koch as the main sponsor of a science show – Nova. Ever heard of that show? I wonder if they will ever investigate Climate Change with him as their primary sponsor?

    Showing tonight on Nova was Secrets Beneath the Ice, which discussed how climate scientists are using Antarctic ice cores to investigate how bad the ocean level rise will be as warming hits (very very bad – we are talking 60 foot rise in levels if most of Antarctica melts). Program pulled no punches.

    Before bellyaching about how the Koch’s are ruining Nova, you might try watching some time.

  87. 87
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    It’s Discovery that initially wanted to demur on showing the last episode of the BBC’s Frozen Planet, which explicitly addresses polar melting due to climate change. And it’s the BBC, for that matter, that decided to put all the climate change stuff in a single episode that could be easily shelved, in order to sell it to “difficult” markets and get that production co-funding from Discovery.

    (But, seriously, Alec Baldwin instead of Attenborough? For fuck’s sake.)

  88. 88
    Kane says:

    One of the recent conservative/tea party criticisms of Romney is that he’s not a true conservative because he only wants to cut programs rather than eliminate programs altogether. This appears to be an attempt by Romney to throw those people a bone.

  89. 89
    Hob says:

    @Brachiator:

    So, with fewer programs and less accessibility, who is PBS as currently configured serving? People may rightly attack the GOP for wanting to kill it, and yet you ignore the fact that it appears to be dying through a combination of bad management practices and viewer apathy.

    Who’s this “you”? Speak for yourself. This sounds a bit like “you’re a hypocrite if you want to stop bombing Afghanistan but you’re not protesting against sexism in Afghanistan.” There’s nothing wrong with people speaking out against an immediate bad action that they can conceivably prevent, but not simultaneously trying to every other problem when there’s no clear way to do so.

    I watch things on PBS that I won’t see elsewhere, and I value that. I’m well aware that it’s not what it used to be, which is a shame. I don’t know what I can do about its management. Sadly, letter-writing campaigns by outraged Bozellians are fairly effective at getting executives to stop taking risks, but there’s very little leverage for other viewers who would like them to start taking risks again. PBS will have a chance of being better when we have public figures who push back against culture-war politics, something I’d like to think is possible.

    As for what you said about digital bandwidth– still seems like a non sequitur to me. You’re basically saying free broadcast TV could go away if certain proposals succeed, therefore it’s somehow misguided to care about what’s on the broadcast TV we still have. Sounds to me more like an argument for getting people to be more vocal about what they care about, and defend it.

    And just because some of us live a large segment of our lives on the computer (and I’m including myself) doesn’t mean everyone does.

  90. 90
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @DougJ:

    I think the Carpenters are underrated.

    Agreed, though I don’t own any of their CDs and they’re not on my iPod.

  91. 91
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Discovery also replaced David Attenborough with Sigourney Weaver when they broadcast the Planet Earth series, and replaced David Attenborough (again) with Oprah Winfrey when they broadcast Life.

  92. 92
    Hob says:

    @Hob:
    “trying to every other problem” = “trying to fix every other problem”

  93. 93
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Wilson Heath: Wow. It’s been hard for The Onion to stay crazier than reality, but at least they were a few months ahead of the nonsense on this one.

  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    @Hob:

    There’s nothing wrong with people speaking out against an immediate bad action that they can conceivably prevent, but not simultaneously trying to every other problem when there’s no clear way to do so.

    The defection of KCET in Los Angeles from PBS seems to me to count as an immediate bad action. Romney’s proposal, right now, is idle dreaming.

    KCET’s wrangle with PBS and other problems, including the bandwidth issue have just gained any traction among people who should be interested, and it’s a shame because, right now, this is a bigger threat to the success of public broadcasting than the rhetoric of GOP contenders.

  95. 95
    Kane says:

    You have got to love the irony that the candidate who wants to bring advertising to Sesame Street is the individual most often compared to Guy Smiley.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yes, but KCET sucked when they were part of PBS, especially the last few years. There was literally nothing interesting that they would run, because it was all “Three Irish Tenors” and 1950s doo-wop and Suzy Ormond. They had virtually no local programming at all — it was all national PBS crap.

    They’re still feeling their way, but IMO they’re much better off as an independent doing shows like “The Write Environment” instead.

  97. 97
    Hob says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: According to this, PBS ponied up $1 million for the first series, which had a budget of $7.5 million. Apparently that made enough difference that when PBS withdrew funding for the second series, that killed the project for the next few years until Showtime got involved. So I’d say their role was important enough.

    (Also, I’m not sure what Brachiator meant by “not deeply involved”, but it would’ve been highly unusual for them to be hands-on with it. Funding and distributing other people’s programs is what they do! They’re not a studio.)

  98. 98
    Hob says:

    @Brachiator: You may not mean it this way, but when you start addressing complaints to “you” and “people” in general, and respond to commenters saying things here on this blog by complaining that not enough attention was paid in your part of California (where most of us don’t live; I believe that was Mnemosyne’s fault), it comes off as kind of undirected contrarianism. I get that you want people to be less apathetic– but you don’t like the style of non-apathy that people here are demonstrating. So may I ask what you suggest?

    Also, how about a link to the bandwidth proposals you’ve mentioned several times now? I’d like to know what to be concerned about (although I still don’t quite get why I shouldn’t care about what the Republican frontrunner says he will do).

  99. 99
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    because it was all “Three Irish Tenors” and 1950s doo-wop and Suzy Ormond.

    Sounds like KQED at pledge time. I’m amazed at the way PBS stations run away from their real programming at pledge time, to show what amount to infomercials pandering to the fears of aging Baby Boomers.

    I watch a fair bit of PBS programming, but as long as they pull that shit, they’re not getting a cent from me.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hob:

    I believe that was Mnemosyne’s fault

    Hey, don’t blame me — I only mentioned the extreme suckitude of KCET in #96 when I couldn’t stand it anymore. Brachiator went off on the original KCET rant under his own power with no help from me.

  101. 101
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    Make PBS include advertisements? Mitt doesn’t watch PBS, does he?

  102. 102
    Karounie says:

    Sesame Street was created by Pete Peterson’s wife.

  103. 103
    Hob says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sorry, that was just a lame joke based on you being the only other one here who had ever heard of KCET.

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